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Thursday 20 February 2014

Eats & Treats: Restaurant Lemon Tree @ Taman Melodies

♪ "I wonder how, I wonder why.. Yesterday you told me 'bout the blue blue sky~" 

I don't know about you, but I grew up listening to this song! An oldie but goldie. Can you guess what song is it? It's "Lemon Tree" sung by Fools' Garden! (reminds me of Convent's EW20!)

Coincidentally, the restaurant that I reviewed last month, courtesy of Kim Tan, was also called Lemon Tree. FYI, Kim is a foodie with many friends, hence we always get the opportunity to go for food reviews. Thanks, Kim! ;)

A little history about Restaurant Lemon Tree which is located at Melodies Garden. It was started on 1st July 2003, that's 11 years ago! The owner and chef, Jeffery Bong, used to work in various hotel as the chef and sous chef, and also at Vivo Pizza, before he decided to start up his own restaurant. He found this particular shoplot appealing because of the many trees in front of it, making it a shady and cooling place with ample parking space to start a restaurant. The focus of the restaurant is more on Western food rather than local cuisines. I guess you could call it a neighbourhood restaurant as many working people and families frequent it. The reason for naming the restaurant "Lemon Tree" was simply because the song was very popular in those days! Cute :3

The simple storefront. You won't expect the surprisingly good food in store inside!

The main dining area, which has been around for years.

Surprise! They have recently taken over the shoplot next door and renovated it into a private dining area! Quite a difference from the main dining area, right? This section has a more comfortable, homely and "western" atmosphere.

The private dining section was also where we were hosted. Do take note that if you're planning to throw a party or private event, this area is open for reservation. It's quite spacious so I think you can host about 80 guests? Perfect for dinner parties!

Of course when we arrived, the first thing we were served were the drinks.

Lemon Tea RM 4.50 (small)
A must-try. Lemon Tree Cafe is famous for their iced lemon tea, of course! A very refreshing drink and great thirst-quenching. The sweetness level is just nice.
Mango Fruity RM 5.50

Sour Sop Fruity RM 5.50
Ice-blended Cafe Mocha RM 6.00

Earl Grey Tea RM 3.50

At this point, the sky was getting darker and we were getting hungrier. Taking photos in low light was quite a challenge so please bear with my inconsistent photo quality! >< Thank you Jeffery for providing us with a table lamp to shoot photos lol.
Tuna Bruschetta Cheese Bread RM 9.80
Let's start off with appetizer! The main ingredients are tuna, herbs, cheese, garlic, cucumber and cherry tomatoes, served on a perfectly toasted bruschetta. I find the thickness of the bread just nice. I simply love the perfectly melted cheese on tuna combination! But I don't really fancy the garlic taste ._. To each their own, I guess. Eat it while it's hot and you can hear that *crunch* when you bite into the bread. Yummy!

Home-made Cream of Mushroom RM5.50
A sucker for homemade soup, I was drawn to this bowl of warm soup which I shared with Audrey. The soup is blended with five kinds of mushrooms and onions, then drizzled with cream and garnished with croutons and spring onions. It contains garlic as welll, but I couldn't really taste it so it's ok :p However, as delicious and smooth as it is, I couldn't really pick out the mushrom taste which was kind of a disappointment for me..

Tropical Hawaiian Pizza RM 17.80
 Bite into the soft pizza bread topped with garlic tomato sauce when it's warm and your tastebuds will get a tropical taste of the fresh and sweet pineapple, chilli, sweet onion, capsicum and salty ham. Delicious!

Island Seafood Pizza RM 19.80
Each pizza comes in slices of 6, which is actually big enough for one person to eat. This was one of my favourite dish as the sauce (I think it's thousand island?) is really light and tastes even fresher with the pineapple and cucumber. The 'seafood' part consists of fresh prawns, crabmeat and tuna. You won't really feel "jelak" eating this so I give this a thumbs up!

Mixed Fruit Salad RM 5.50
Another favourite! This dish was served mainly for Audrey because of her allergies towards the other dishes (she say wan) :p The salad dressing got all the girls swooning over it. I'm not kidding! Everyone liked it cos of the sweet and light sauce made of fresh orange juice. Aha, the key ingredient! Best part is, it is self-made. Very appetizing for me, when paired with all these fresh fruits and vege. It's my first time eating fruit salad which has mandarin oranges in it!

Grilled New Zealand Air-flown Ribeye Steak RM 49.00
I had to give this dish a miss because I can't eat beef, but I did take down notes. Apparently to get more marbling, the beef is 50% medium well-done with a bit of blood. The beef is tender and juicy because it is let aside to rest after grilling. The thickness is also just right and you're supposed to eat it with the black pepper sauce. Uhm, yeah.. That's all I can tell you. XD

Spaghetti Seafood Aglio-Olio RM 12.80
Not a big fan of aglio-olio as I've always found it too oily and garlicky, but I did give this a try. The spaghetti was quite firm and tasty, but still a little too oily for my liking.. The seafood was really fresh though.. Just look at those huge prawns! *.*

Spaghetti Hawaiian RM 8.80
One of the recommended dishes on the menu, this spaghetti did live up to its standard. It's really smooth and the sweet and sour tomato bolognaise sauce makes you want more of it. The saltiness of the ham really complements the dish well.

Special Fried Rice RM 13.80
There is a story behind this dish.. The fried rice is normal kampung fried rice, but what makes it so 'special' is because a regular customer orders this dish every time he visits Lemon Tree. One day, he then requested that some side dishes such as fried chicken, fried egg, ham and cheese, coleslaw and black pepper sauce be added to make the fried rice set more value-for-money. This dish does not only taste good (seriously, the fried rice is fragrant and non-clumpy and its even nicer when you pour the black pepper sauce over it),  it also shows that they actually listen to their customers' needs! :p

Seafood Mee Mamak RM 9.80
Remember that I mentioned they do serve local fushion dishes as well? This was one of it and this dish was specially requested by Kim to let us try. Unlike regular mee mamak, this dish does not have the alkalic noodle taste and served with generous amounts of tofu, fish cake and vege, as you can see. For me, it tastes quite normal and is not spicy enough. Again, to each their own!

Tiramisu RM 12.90
Desserts time, finally! Lemon Tree's Tiramisu is soaked in Kahlua, pure coffee bean and has lady finger, mascarpone cheese in it. SO GOOD. Smooth and moist, paired with sweet fruits, which makes it every girls' favourite! <3

Crème brûlée RM 9.80
Helloooo, beautiful! Crème brûlée is a dessert with rich custard base, topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. And that is the exact way to describe this dish! Lemon Tree's crème brûlée is flavoured with real vanilla seeds (not essence), milk and egg. I love the natural fragrance and sweetness that the vanilla gives off! There's even vanilla bits at the bottom. The idea of pairing it with sweet fruits and slightly bitter caramel just makes it more appetixing. Because many places don't serve this dessert with well-torched caramel on top, kudos to them for serving the burnt caramel perfectly!

Chocolate Lava Cake RM12.90
This is a MUST-TRY dish at Lemon Tree! What makes it different from other chocolate lava cakes I've tried is that it is made with 70% DARK thick chocolate! LOVE LOVE LOVE dark chocolate and it's rich bitterness. If you're not a fan of the slight bitterness, fret not. Eat this with sweet vanilla ice cream, I swear it is how happiness feels like :p Crusty on the outside and moist on the inside; just how a perfect lava cake should be. As you can see, the chocolate did not flow out when the cake is cut. This is because the choc is really dense and rich! No complains there. :D

Oops.. My greedy face caught on camera by Aud! XD
BTS. Hashtag #asiansatwork hahaha.
Aiya noob iPhone front camera.. >< First time meeting Princess Neverland's sister, Cece! :D

With the lou ban, Jeffery! Thank you for all the wonderful dishes!

With Jason of J-Travel! :)

Grouuuupp pic! Audrey, Eryn, Kim, Cece, Sin Yee aka Princess Neverland, and Sherlyn. Lerler was busy chatting with the boss and Jason haha. You can read about their Lemon Tree food reviews on their blogs! *click*

Photo credits to Jason! I love this shot!

My thoughts on the restaurant would be that it is definitely afforable, serving quality western dishes at mid-range price. No wonder so many families and working people come here! The food does not disappoint as everything is fresh and they only serve fresh local meat that is certified by HACCP. Even though there is no pork and no lard, the place is non-halal as they do serve alcoholic beverages. I really like the cozy feel and the fact that the boss is so friendly makes you feel right at home. For me, price and service are important criterias of any restaurant, especially neighbourhood ones. When you've built a loyal customer base, you know you've succeeded.

So, the next time you're craving cheap and good Western food, why not drop by Lemon Tree Restaurant? They are located near KSL City Mall and Holiday Plaza, so don't eat in the mall, come here and eat lah! :p A quiet place with ample parking makes this place ideal for private functions as well. Lemon Tree will cater your food if you do host any events here and they do outside catering as well! And it's not those regular buffet catering where they serve curry and all.. The chef and his brother are into fine dining so you'll get a range of tapas, canapes and more exquisite desserts! Wah.. Sounds so pro. So do keep them in mind if you're looking for a caterer! :)

♪ "And all that I can see, is just another Lemon Tree~

For more information, check out their Facebook page Lemon Tree Restaurant

Address: 18, Jalan Bedara,
Taman Melodies,
Johor Bahru
Tel: +607 - 335 5688
Business Hours: 12pm - 11pm (Closed on Mondays)

Carinn xx

Disclaimer: Even though the post is sponsored, the review is based on my personal thoughts, experiences and preference after trying out the food.


  1. After reading this, I am getting hungry :( btw damn cool la your camera :D Like a pro. Hehe.

    1. Hehe! If you ever come to JB, I'll bring you for good food! :D Thanks! But it's not my cam, it's my dad's.. Only get to use when I'm in JB..

  2. Aaaaa, that's so delicious. I wish I can eat there. yummeyy!

    1. It is! :9 I'm sure you can find nice places to eat where you are too!

  3. the food look very tempting esp th choc lava cake...


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